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Turkey, Iran, Iraq Warn Of 'Countermeasures' If Kurdish Independence Vote Goes Ahead

Turkey, Iran, Iraq Warn Of 'Countermeasures' If Kurdish Independence Vote Goes Ahead”

Turkey, Iran and Iraq today urged Iraq's Kurdistan region to abandon a planned referendum on independence, threatening unspecified "counter-measures" if it goes ahead with the vote. At the end of the meeting, the three ministers expressed their concern about the planned referendum.

Turkey, Iran and Iraq have agreed to take "joint precautionary measures" against the Iraqi Kurdish Regional Government's (KRG) bid to hold a referendum of independence from Iraq, Turkish Foreign Ministry said in a statement Thursday.

The statement gave no details of the possible measures but said the ministers, who were in NY attending the United Nations General Assembly, called on the global community to intervene.

With conspicuous timing, Turkey on Monday launched a military drill involving 100 vehicles including tanks on the Iraqi border, which was continuing for a fourth day according to Turkish media reports. The United States and other Western powers have advised Kurdistan's Regional Government to cancel the vote, fearing that it could spark a new conflict with Baghdad and undermine the battle against Islamic State militants.

In this regard, the Foreign Ministers, Mevlut Cavusoglu of Turkey, Javad Zarif of Iran, and Ibrahim Jaferi of Iraq, highlighted how important would be to reach stability and lasting security in Iraq once IS is through.

But the Kurds say they are determined to go ahead with the vote, which, though non-binding, could trigger the process of separation in a country already divided along sectarian and ethnic lines.



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